UK: Vin & Sprit sues Absolute Radio

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Vin & Sprit, the owner of Swedish vodka brand Absolut, has launched legal proceedings against UK radio station Absolute Radio for infringement of its trademark.

The company has filed a complaint against Asbolute Radio, previously known as Virgin Radio, at the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division in London.

"The reason for the complaint is that we see a risk for [consumer] confusion, and consider this as passing-off," a spokesperson for Vin&Sprit told just-drinks today (14 October).

"Furthermore, Absolute Radio targets a wider and younger audience than Absolut Vodka in different media channels. There is a risk for confusion - consumers may perceive this as undue advertising to young people who are not of legal drinking age, which goes against the efforts of Absolut Vodka as a responsible spirits brand."

Last month, Virgin Radio rebranded as Absolute after it was bought by the Times of India group for GBP53.2m (US$93.3m) in June.

A spokesperson for Absolute Radio said today: "We absolutely believe that the two brands can exist alongside each other and that our five million listeners can distinguish between a vodka brand and a radio station. 

"We hope for a swift resolution to this situation and remain 100% committed to our exciting plans for Absolute Radio."

As part of its rebranding, the rock station is launching nine TV ads featuring actor Jordan Prentice as part of a GBP2.2m, six-week marketing campaign.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Absolut

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